TSSA hands in 11,500 transport police petition to Holyrood

TSSA and senior Labour politicians will today hand in a 11,500 strong petition calling on the Scottish Parliament not to break up British Transport Police (BTP).

TSSA represents BTP Scotland support staff and believes believe that plans to “devolve” BTP into Police Scotland is unnecessary, will endanger passengers and will not be a cost effective use of Scottish taxpayers money.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “There is not a rational person engaged in the rail business in Scotland who thinks axing British Transport Police is a sane decision.

“The SNP’s nationalist rather than rationalist approach to BTP is, quite frankly, more frightening than it is arrogant. Rail Safety standards are being imperilled, passengers lives toyed with as though they don’t matter and the important business of how best to keep rail lines open and running smoothly is being undermined by its own government. 11,500 people think like we do that this toy had to stop and and BTP allowed to continue to protect Scotland’s rail commuters within and across her border.”

Along with the huge public support, TSSA’s campaign to retain independent BTP is backed by supported other rail unions and the BTP Federation.

It is understood that all Scotland’s Train Operating Companies believe the merger is a folly. And Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulory in Scotland (HMICS)have described the SNP decision as “entirely” a political decision and did not include a detailed business case, according to a leaked watchdog report.

HMICS reported that rail operators, which currently fund the BTP, have suggested the transfer to Police Scotland was a “material change” to existing agreements that may not receive their “consent”.

The watchdog also noted that the Scottish Police Authority – the body which holds the police to account – did not have the “capability or capacity” to deliver the transfer.

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